So, you’ve figured out your identity was stolen. Here’s how long it could take to restore it.
Dealing with identity theft is no fun. Not for the fraud professionals trying to help those who have become the victim, and especially not for those who have had their private data used as part of an attack.
The unfortunate reality is that it’s all too common today. You realize the bills you’re receiving in the mail are for services you’ve never heard of before. You’re shopping for groceries and your card is suddenly declined. Even worse, you file your yearly tax return and someone has already completed one using your social security number.
This is the frightening reality many Americans are dealing with today and it’s made the process of recovery an even more urgent matter.
While taking steps to avoid becoming a victim at all are important, with clever fraudsters outsmarting even the most sophisticated security attempts, being proactive and knowing the facts is critical.
In addition to having a personal plan to restore your identity after an attack is uncovered, you should also be realistic about the time frame that it will likely take for the recovery to happen so you can go back to somewhat normalcy again.
The answer is complex and it depends on the details that unfold as investigators look into just how much of your personal information has been stolen and compromised. Once you have a better understanding of what information has been taken and where it’s been used, you can start to understand what it’s going to take to restore it.
The general amount of time for someone with a great credit history prior to an attack, according to the FTC, is an average of six months and 200 hours of work to restore some normalcy to an individual’s accounts after a security breach. This is an average and can increase the difficulty if the information that was stolen was sold to someone else or if the individual’s prior credit history was already messy.
What takes the most time, according to the FTC, are the man-hours and back and forth creating paperwork and tracking correspondences to create substantial evidence of the attack and what was done fraudulently that must be reversed if possible. These departments are usually also working with law enforcement investigations into the theft and helping to legally remove liability for the debts from victims.
More time and financial resources can be added to the restoration process when an individual with not so great credit history and track record for poor account management is making claims that charges on their account are fraudulent.
The other very vulnerable target is children. Since identity theft may occur for longer in their names (maybe when they are older and can open their own account) by then years of damage may have been done and can take several years – even decades to undo.
Acting quickly when you discover an issue with your accounts, keeping your credit history impeccable, and being proactive to protect identity theft are all key steps in avoiding or easing the burden involved in restoration efforts.
Legal Shred is dedicated to ensuring that any documents containing your personal data are shredded and rendered useless so no fraudsters can ever get their hands on it. Call us today.
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